Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 9 - July 2000
D-41GJ (George Jones)
For five decades, George Jones has captivated country music lovers with his pure, emotional, heart-on-his-sleeve voice. After more than 140 country hits, George Jones’ unique talent as a singer has made him a living legend and an inspiration to two generations of country performers. His life has had more triumphs and travails than a hundred jukebox songs; but from behind a Martin guitar, he continues to do what he does best: create great country music.
Affectionately nicknamed "The Possum," George Jones had his first country hit in 1955 with "Why Baby Why." Dozens of top ten singles and albums as a solo artist followed, including such classics as "She Thinks I Still Care," "The Race is On," and "He Stopped Lovin' Her Today." He also recorded several hit duets, with partners as diverse as wife Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Ray Charles and Randy Travis.
Jones is among the most honored performers in all of country music. He was named CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 1962, 1963, 1980, and 1981, and also received the organization’s Vocal Event of the Year award in 1993 and 1998. He won Grammy Awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1980 and 1999. Inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1968, Jones was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. George Jones’ hard, fast life simply adds to his legend. Four marriages, a decade of drug and alcohol abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, and triple-bypass heart surgery in 1994 are detailed in his best selling book, I Lived To Tell It All. A near-fatal automobile accident in 1998 could have ended his career, but Jones came back stronger than ever, recording a fine album, "Cold Hard Truth," hosting The George Jones Show on cable television, and heading out on tour. Through thick and thin, George Jones has been loyal to Martin guitars. A Martin Dreadnought has been George’s instrument of choice for most of his career, and he rarely steps on stage without one.
In recognition of George Jones’, extraordinary contributions to country music, the Martin Guitar Company is pleased to introduce the D-41GJ George Jones Limited Edition Signature model guitar. Inspired by the pearl-inlaid Martin Dreadnoughts Jones plays on stage and in the studio, this unique model will be limited to just 100 guitars.
The D-41GJ is crafted entirely from select quality solid tonewoods. A soundboard of premium Engelmann spruce was chosen for its rich, "open" tone. Traditionally carved scalloped X-braces advanced to 1 inch from the soundhole enhance the full, powerful voice. Both back and sides are made from bookmatched, straight-grained East Indian rosewood.
Reflecting George Jones’ personal preference, colorful "heart" abalone pearl inlays grace the top perimeter and soundhole rosette, a vibrant accent to the aging toner-tinted top. The two-piece back is complemented by a Style 45 mosaic inlay center strip, and both top and back are bound in grained ivoroid. The guitar body is finished with multiple coats of nitrocellulose lacquer, polished to a high gloss.
The genuine mahogany, low profile neck reflects vintage styling in its squared and tapered solid headstock, and a diamond volute. "C.F. Martin" inlaid in abalone pearl block letters on East Indian rosewood, and gold-plated Waverly tuners with butterbean knobs, highlight the ivoroid-bound headstock. The black African ebony fingerboard, also bound in grained ivoroid, displays distinctive "scalloped hexagon" position markers and culminates in George Jones’ signature, inlaid in pearl, between the 18th and 20th frets. Selected to match the fingerboard, the black ebony bridge is fitted with white bridge pins inlaid with abalone pearl dots. Both the compensated saddle and nut are genuine bone. The top is protected by a polished and beveled vintage-style tortoise colored pickguard.
Each D-41GJ will bear an interior label personally signed by George Jones and Martin Chairman and CEO, C.F. Martin IV. A deluxe Geib style® case is included with each instrument. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each George Jones D-41GJ Signature Edition guitar will be donated to support the work of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Affiliated with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, which cared for George Jones after his near-fatal car accident in 1998, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive pediatric care for acute and chronic illnesses. The only facility of its kind in the mid-south, the hospital treats nearly 100,000 young patients each year.
Martin dealers are now taking orders for the D-41GJ. The George Jones Limited Edition Signature model should begin arriving in stores in early 2001.